Does your baby keep you awake at night? Are you wondering if your infant is hungry even though they’re getting their daily milk quota? You may even wonder if you can put a rusk in a baby’s bottle to see if she’ll sleep better at night!
Child experts recommend NOT putting a rusk in a baby’s bottle for several reasons including choking, tooth decay, and an undeveloped digestive system. Babies can eat softened rusks when they transition to solids from six months old but it should be served from a bowl with a spoon.
- Parents put rusks in baby’s bottles to help their babies sleep better or they want to add variety to their infant’s diet.
- There are numerous risks associated with adding rusks to a baby’s bottle with choking being the number one hazard.
- From six months old, babies can eat rusks softened in milk and fed with a spoon.
Can you put a rusk in a baby’s bottle?
Putting a rusk in a baby’s bottle isn’t a good idea for several reasons mainly if your little one isn’t used to eating solids. The number one danger is that it becomes a choking hazard. If you want to give your baby a rusk, soften the rusk in a bowl before feeding them with a spoon.
Why parents may want to put rusks in a baby bottle
Some people suggest it can help with sleep
If your baby isn’t sleeping at night, your first concern could be that they’re not getting enough food when drinking only milk. Some suggest adding a rusk to your baby’s bottle to prevent hunger pangs from waking your little one up at night.
But, there could be several other reasons your little one isn’t sleeping including:
- Wet diapers
- Feeling cold or hot
- Separation anxiety
The list is endless but before you decide to put a rusk in your baby’s bottle, consider other possible reasons your baby isn’t sleeping well at night.
A concern when the baby is still hungry
Most infants start transitioning to solid food from six months old. Before they reach this age, breast milk or infant formula is adequate for your baby’s feeding needs. Growth spurts could be the reason your baby is hungry after a feed, and giving them more milk is better than adding a rusk to their bottle!
When your baby is six to seven months old, you can consider switching to solids such as fortified infant cereals, yogurt, pureed proteins, vegetables, and fruit.
Maybe they want to add variety to the baby’s diet
Some parents want to put Farley’s rusk in a baby bottle to vary their little one’s diet. While Farley’s Rusks for six months and older babies provide sufficient nutrients and vitamins for your infant, putting a rusk in their bottle isn’t recommended by the manufacturers.
Feeding your baby with softened rusks does add variety to their diet but only when they’ve transitioned to solids. There’s no need to vary your bottle-fed or breastfed infant’s diet before six months old.
The risks of putting rusks in a baby’s bottle
The danger of putting any solids, including rusks, into a baby’s bottle is choking. While many parents do put solids such as rice cereal into their baby’s bottle to help them sleep better at night, it does become a choking hazard.
May rot the baby’s teeth
Rusks are often used to help teething babies with pain but child experts do suggest avoiding this practice as it can lead to tooth decay. The same will happen if you’re putting rusk into the baby’s bottle with their milk. Most brands include sugar in their rusks which is a number one culprit for rotting teeth!
Could be bad for the baby’s digestion
Before your baby reaches four to six months old, their digestive system is undeveloped and is only able to process breast milk or infant formula. Supplementing your baby’s diet with solids too soon can give rise to the following problems:
- Food intolerance and allergies
- Stomach cramps
- Increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes
The rusks can clog the teat
Adding any solids including rusks to your baby’s bottle can clog the teat, making it difficult for your little one to drink from it. If they’re not able to consume the contents of the bottle, they’ll get frustrated and not get their daily milk requirement or nutritional needs.
At what age is it safe for babies to eat rusks in milk?
From the age of six months old, your baby is ready to be introduced to solids and will be able to eat softened rusks. As part of their diet, you can give them rusks that have been mixed with milk or water. However, it’s better to not give it to them in their baby bottle for the reasons mentioned above.
This informative video demonstrates how to feed your baby solid food.
Can you dissolve rusks in milk?
Rusks can be dissolved in milk or water. The best way to do it is to crush the rusk by hand into smaller pieces. Put into a clean bowl and add a few teaspoons of your baby’s formula or boiled water. Mash it into a soft puree and make sure the paste isn’t too dry before feeding it to your baby with a clean teaspoon.
What to do if your baby is still hungry after milk
Consider the following options if your baby is still hungry after milk:
- Sufficient milk: Are you giving your baby the right amount of milk at each feed? Underfeeding your baby will make them unhappy and if they’re going through a growth spurt you may need to increase their milk intake.
- Talk to your doctor: If your baby isn’t settling down after a feed, speaking to your doctor can help you find a healthy solution. It could be something as simple as switching to another formula brand.
- Feeding schedule: Babies need frequent feeding especially when they’re small. Most newborns need to be fed 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.
- Infant reflux: Your baby could be battling with acid or infant reflux which could be mistaken for hunger. Switching to anti-colic / regular bottles could be the solution you’re looking for.
It’s best not to wonder about how to put a rusk in a baby’s bottle when trying to help your little one sleep better or satisfy hunger pangs! Instead, explore the many reasons they could be niggly at nighttime or after a feed. Because of choking hazards, pediatricians recommend not putting solids such as oatmeal / cereal in a bottle and the same should apply to rusks.